The Man in the Iron Mask

Directed by Randall Wallace
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The Independent Culture

The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) is a film directed by Randall Wallace, it centres on the aging Musketeers Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D'Artagnan and the reign of King Louis XIV of France. It attempts to explain the mystery of the man in the iron mask, using a plot most similar to the 1939 film.

In 1638, Queen Anne of France gives birth to a boy, who will inherit the throne one day. However, only known to few, there is a twin brother born minutes later. Twenty two years later, King Louis XIV rules the country of France, but due to his lifestyle and the costs of war, people are forced to suffer hunger and poverty. Of the Musketeers, who had served his father Louis XIII faithfully, only one is still on the king's side: D'Artagnan, the captain of the king's guards. His three companions Aramis, Athos and Porthos have retired into civil life long ago. One day at a royal party, the young king gets a crush on Christine. This young lady is the fiancée of soldier Raoul, the son of Athos. Without further ado, the king has Raoul recruited and sent to war, so that he himself can have her. Soon Raoul dies in combat and the king has him out of the way. But Athos, Aramis and Porthos think of a plan to take revenge on the king. Aramis points out that there is a man in an iron mask in a very secure prison, and that this man's existence can solve all present problems. So they free the king's hidden twin brother, and tell him who he is. The brother had no idea whatsoever why he was imprisoned for six years with this mask forged around his head. The plan now is to replace the evil king with his brother at a masquerade party. Only D'Artagnan still is guarding the king and so he has to turn against his old friends...

Directed by

Randall Wallace


Alexandre Dumas père (novels)

Randall Wallace (screenplay)


Leonardo DiCaprio ... King Louis XIV / Philippe

Jeremy Irons ... Aramis

John Malkovich ... Athos

Gérard Depardieu ... Porthos

Gabriel Byrne ... D'Artagnan

Anne Parillaud ... Queen Mother Anne

Judith Godrèche ... Christine (as Judith Godreche)

Edward Atterton ... Lt. Andre

Peter Sarsgaard ... Raoul

Hugh Laurie ... King's Advisor

David Lowe ... King's Advisor

Brigitte Boucher ... Madame Rotund

Matthew Jocelyn ... Assassin

Karine Belly ... Wench

Emmanuel Guttierez ... King's Friend


Alexandre Dumas père, the author of the book for which this is based, adapted his novel on a historical account of a mysterious prisoner in the Bastille, who was forced to wear a leather mask for the two years between his imprisonment and subsequent death.